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Book Club Kits: 11 Birthdays

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

On their first birthday, they learned to walk. On their fifth, they planted seeds in handmade pots. On their tenth, they learned there are some words you can never take back.

Amanda’s eleventh birthday should have been a happy occasion. Instead she’s dressed in an itchy costume her mother picked out for her Hollywood-themed party (Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, even though the flying monkeys have always creeped her out). Meanwhile, across town, her ex-best friend Leo is celebrating their joint birthday with a huge bash including a hypnotist, a football star, a giant iguana, and a rock band. SO not fair!

Amanda can’t wait for the day AFTER her birthday so she can stop thinking about the fight that led to her and Leo having separate parties for the first time in their lives. There’s just one problem. The next day is her birthday all over again.

Discussion Questions

  • Who is your favorite character in the book?

  • Is there one person who has been present at all of your birthdays? Do you know anyone who shares the same birthday as you? What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?

  • List a few instances of Amanda and her friends worrying about things being “cool” and discuss if the cool choice was the right choice. Have you ever had to make an uncool choice? How did it feel?

  • Do you think it is a good idea to make fun of a friend just to make yourself look cool? Why do you think someone might behave that way? Would you? If you overheard your BFF saying something unkind about you, what would you do?

  • Have you ever had a fight with a good friend that lasted a long time? Tell about it.

  • What do you think will happen with Amanda and Leo now that they have experienced this together?

  • When Amanda made her wish at lunch on her birthday cupcake, what do you think she wished for? Why? What would you wish for? Why?

  • Why do you think Amanda pretended to be sick on her “3rd” 11th birthday?

  • Amanda feels some peer pressure to try out for the gymnastics team instead of the marching band. What advice would you give someone who is feeling peer pressure to do something they don’t really want to do?

  • If you woke up and realized that you were reliving yesterday, would you be scared? What one thing from today would you like to repeat every day for the next year?

  • If you could have a “do-over” day, which day would it be? Why? What would you do differently? When would it be a good thing to be able to relive a day?

  • Amanda and Leo have a “no consequences” day during which they do things they would normally be afraid to do: a poetry reading and a drum audition. What would you do on a no consequences day that you might ordinarily be afraid to do? Explain.

  • What evidence from the book hinted that Angelina was somehow involved in repeating their birthdays?